Bangin’ burger at Gourmet Burger Kitchen

What’s not to love about a burger? A big slab of juicy meat, dripping sauce, tangy relish and crispy bacon, finished off with a wedge of lettuce for a quick health kick are my combination of pure perfection when it comes to finger food. Okay, so it’s not exactly sophisticated finger food, but it sure brings satisfaction when you’re on the lookout for messy carbs.

My mom has always rated Gourmet Burger Kitchen (GBK) as her favourite place to get a burger. I’ve never really favoured chain restaurants over independent ones, but with GBK I can see where she’s coming from.

The 90+ restaurants, which are situated across the UK, offer a gluten free menu that provides an ample selection of allergen free meals, whether you’re looking for chicken, beef or veggie options. I admit to being a little boring when I eat at GBK, as I usually opt for the Classic Beef Burger with house mayo, relish and salad, with either bacon or avocado as an added extra, all of which are milk free too.

What do I love about GBK? Well firstly, you’re given an option over how your burger is cooked – a question that is not often asked in other establishments. I often find burgers in pubs to be overcooked, dry and on the odd occasion, burnt to a crisp. Not everyone realises that burger meat is just like steak in that you cook it to your own liking, whether well done, medium or on the rare side. I asked for my burger at GBK to be cooked medium rare, which meant that it was juicy and flavoursome.

Secondly, the burgers taste fresh. I don’t get the impression that the meat has been cooked in bulk and sat out on a counter for a couple of hours. Thirdly, the house sauces, which are apparently cooked fresh each day, taste amazing and I’m always chuffed when I re-visit the allergen menu and discover that they haven’t snuck milk into most of them. Fourth and final reason, the atmosphere is chilled, you don’t feel rushed and it’s a great place to catch up with friends or have a quick lunch during shopping. I even have the choice of ordering a dairy free milkshake if I want – an option that isn’t offered at many other restaurants.

I actually did a review on GBK back in 2014 when I was first introduced to the restaurant. I called it the burger equivalent of Nando’s in which you’d either love it or hate it. I can safely say that since then, my mind has been changed, which I think is due in large part to them changing the supplier of the gluten free buns, not overcharging for condiments and making the ordering of gluten free food as simple and enjoyable an experience as possible.

Overall, GBK is my favourite chain burger place to eat at. I’ve eaten at quite a few of the branches across the country and I’ve never had any complaints – quite an accomplishment since I’m not always a big advocate of chains. My only suggestion would be to introduce separate fryers for chips, as currently they are not listed on gluten free menus due to cross contamination. On the other hand, I still love the place and am looking forward to many more burgers to come.

Gourmet Burger Kitchen’s gluten free menu

Let’s be honest here, any person out there with a wheat intolerance or Coeliac’s would probably admit to really craving a burger every now and then, especially after being out on the town all night. Horrible as it may seem, a great big greasy beef burger is probably one of the only things giving you the strength to not pass out in the middle of a pavement at 5am as you stumble back from the clubs (never happened to me *cough cough*)

However, as free from foods have expanded, so have our options to eat out at restaurants catering in what we would always have considered ‘no-go’ areas, i.e. Gourmet Burger Kitchen

Since finding out that BFree, one of my favourite gluten free companies on the market, was supplying its cobs to this nationwide burger chain, I had to go along to my local restaurant to find out what all the fuss was about. I am proud to say I did so by ordering the biggest burger on the gluten free menu – The Mighty.

Consisting of not one but two juicy beef burgers cooked to my liking of medium rare, served with crispy bacon and omitting the cheddar cheese and mayo as I am also dairy free, my feast looked like a postcard picture of what the advertising campaign for McDonald’s burgers looks like. Although fortunately for me, this burger did not disappoint in flavour as a McDonald’s burger would.

The one problem I did have was luckily through no fault of the restaurant. I had the unfortunate task of trying to keep the BFree bap and burger partnered together throughout the duration of my scoffing. I guess you have to prepare yourself for the setbacks when you decide to be a greedy guts and order two burgers on a bap which is only designed to structurally support one. Yes the bread did disintegrate a little as I was eating due to the pure weight of the burger, but the normal cob that my friend was eating also did the same, so I can’t entirely blame the crumbly consistency solely on it being gluten free.

Sadly, I couldn’t sample the chips as they weren’t gluten free and I have to admit it would have been nice if they could have been included within the price of the burger that my friend ordered, as the meal was quite expensive for just a burger alone.

The other major plus point about Gourmet Burger Kitchen is that they sell Celia organic and gluten free beer. Personally I miss being able to drink a nice cold beer when dining out and I think this adds to the attraction of the restaurant.

I do believe there are improvements to be made – most notably I think chips or salad should be included as a free side dish, and I was not particularly pleased about being charged for the salsa sauce that I ordered as a condiment.

Also, I ordered the priciest option but looking at the other diners burgers, I think that they are relatively small when taking into consideration the price. Maybe I am judging based on my experience of American portion sizes, but in my opinion I just believe that if you are a restaurant solely specialising in burgers, they should have that ‘wow’ factor when they arrive at your table.

Overall though, I had a relatively good experience of this restaurant and would recommend to any gluten free person out there wanting a burger restaurant. Controversial maybe, but I think that Gourmet Burger Kitchen is the burger equivalent of Nando’s, you’ll either love it or hate it.